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Upset-Laden NCAA Tournament Takes Breather

Another shocker: Previously undefeated Wichita State fell to Kentucky.

Shocker: previously undefeated Wichita State fell to Kentucky.

And breathe.

After six days of intense headline making, the NCAA tournament reaches the conclusion of the Round of 32 and begins a three-day sabbatical ahead of the Sweet 16.

With 52 games in the books and 15 left to play, upsets have been the theme of the tournament.

The third round came to a close on Sunday with the headlines belonging to eighth seeded Kentucky, who became the first side this tournament to knock off a No. 1 seed when they defeated Wichita State 78-76.

In spoiling the Shockers’ perfect record, the Wildcats made an unmistakable statement; they’re here to defy the odds and take a national championship back to Lexington, Ky.

Ranked 14th by the bookmakers ahead of the tournament, John Calipari’s side will almost certainly make a lot of noise when the updated NCAA futures are released later today.

If Kentucky is to win a championship though, the side will need to top a rival just to get to the Elite Eight. Sunday’s victory sets up a matchup with in-state adversaries Louisville, who have taken care of business so far after opening the tournament as a No. 4 seed. After that, there’s a potential matchup with SEC rival Tennessee or last year’s runner up, Michigan.

Kentucky’s not the only side stamping its impression on the tournament.

In the South region, 10th seeded Stanford and 11th seeded Dayton are ruining brackets left, right and center.

The Cardinal shocked pretty much everyone on Sunday, knocking off No. 2- seeded Kansas, earning a second tournament upset win in the process. The Flyers meanwhile followed up Thursday’s upset over Ohio State with a stunning win over third-seeded Syracuse on Saturday to take the inside track to becoming this year’s Cinderella story.

The two sides will now meet in Memphis on Thursday to determine which underdog will keep its streak alive and book a place in the regional final. The Cardinal opens as the favorite, just.

In total, since the Round of 64 commenced on Thursday, 13 lower seeded sides have earned victory over their favored opponents. That’s a 27 percent success rate for the underdog. If that figure is to stand for the rest of the tournament, we can expect four more upsets before we crown a champion. But where will they come?

Elsewhere in the tournament, No. 1 seeds Florida, Virginia, and Arizona all successfully navigated the second and third rounds. All three will meet No. 4 seeds in the Sweet 16 as at least some portions of the bracket have gone according to form. UCLA, Michigan State, and San Diego State will form the respective competition when the tournament resumes later this weekend.

In terms of the future odds, seven of Bovada’s top 13 – as named on March 17 – remain alive, including five of the top eight. The top four (Florida, Louisville, Michigan State, Arizona) are all alive and kicking, and making the bookies look like they know what they’re talking about. But for how long?

Flying high: Dayton has emerged as this year's Cinderella story after a pair of upset wins.

Flying high: Dayton has emerged as this year’s Cinderella story after a pair of upset wins.

Round 2 & 3 Upsets

South Region

(9) Pittsburgh def. (8) Colorado

(10) Stanford def. (7) New Mexico

(11) Dayton def. (6) Ohio State

(12) Stephen F. Austin def. (5) Virginia Commonwealth

(10) Stanford def. (2) Kansas

(11) Dayton def. (3) Syracuse

East Region

(12) Harvard def. (5) Cincinnati

(7) Connecticut def. (2) Villanova

West Region

(12) North Dakota State def. (5) Oklahoma

(6) Baylor def. Creighton

Midwest Region

(11) Tennessee def. Massachusetts

(14) Mercer def. (3) Duke

(8) Kentucky def. (1) Wichita State

Upcoming Schedule

Thursday, March 27

7:15 (11) Dayton vs. (10) Stanford

7:47 (6) Baylor vs. (2) Wisconsin

9:45 (4) UCLA vs. (1) Florida

10:17 (4) San Diego State vs. (1) Arizona

Friday, March 28

7:15 (11) Tennessee vs. (2) Michigan

7:27 (7) Connecticut vs. (3) Iowa State

9:45 (8) Kentucky vs. (4) Louisville

9:57 (4) Michigan State vs. (1) Virginia

Saturday, March 29 – Regional Finals

Sunday, March 30 – Regional Finals

Saturday, April 5 – National Semifinals

Monday, April 7 – National Championship


If Thursday’s NCAA tournament seems too far away, you’re reminded that the National Invitational Tournament is also in progress.

The NIT will finish out its second round on Monday with three games.

If that’s not enough, the College Basketball Invitational and College Insider Tournament are also in full swing. You can find the latest odds and matchups for all of Monday’s games (five in total) over at the BettingSports.com college basketball odds page.

For a current list of College Basketball futures, click here.

For the latest College Basketball team prop bets, click here.

For the latest College Basketball player prop bets, click here.

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